HOWIE TSUI in CAROUSEL 27
Do you know the work of Howie Tsui?
Ho Yan (Howie) Tsui is an Ottawa-based artist who works primarily with ink, pigments and mulberry paper to create scrolls of illustration; one of these scrolls, entitled Gangshi Creek (2008) was featured in CAROUSEL 27. Tsui’s more recent series ‘Horror Fables,’ probably the work he is best known for, combines traditional painterly technique with a contemporary illustrative and sometimes urban style. Perhaps what stands out most about this work is its intertextuality; Tsui very skillfully weaves his own visual narratives by drawing from multiple sources, including traditional asian ghost tales and mythology, Buddhist hell scrolls, ancient bestiaries, shunga (Japanese erotic art), chinese vampire films, street art and graffiti.
There is significant cultural hybridity found in Tsui’s paintings. Although born in Hong Kong, he very regularly uses Japanese imagery and pulls from both Eastern and Western pop culture. Tsui’s more recent work has been called macabre and mysterious. He creates intrigue by exploring those most frightening aspects of the human imagination- our collective fear of death and violence. In his ‘Horror Fables’, Tsui plays with our current and past culture of fear and fantasy by manipulating traditional Chinese and Japanese legends and folklore.
Tsui’s newest project, ‘Celestials of Saltwater City’ is currently showing at Centre A in Vancouver, BC from May 28 – July 02, 2011. The show will include both ‘Horror Fables’ and a multi-media installation incorporating projection and performance commissioned by Centre A. In this multi-media portion, Tsui reinterprets the history of Vancouver’s asian community by transforming personal stories into his signature fantastical fables.